It wasn’t that long ago that Republican Governor of Wisconsin Scott Walker looked like the next great hope of the GOP.
He came to national attention by doing the unthinkable: Going toe to toe with the state’s mighty public service labor unions and winning.
When Walker told them the truth they didn’t want to hear — that their solid gold pensions and benefits were simply unsustainable, and they needed to agree to a modest adjustment — protesters occupied the state house. Walker didn’t back down and became a hero to fiscal conservatives across the country.
Even though Walker wasn’t able to maneuver this accomplishment into the Republican presidential nomination, he still appeared at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) this week and delivered a well-received address.
It was a rallying cry to his fellow Republican lawmakers to stay strong and keep fighting, despite the left’s non-stop protests since Trump’s election:
Describing his own struggle in dissolving the power of the labor unions in his home state of Wisconsin, Walker said that although the protesters had a “right to be heard,” he would “not let the noise of the protesters drown out the voices of the majority of people who had elected us to do the things we said we were going to do.”
Walker said the protests were a reminder to “do what you said you were going to do; to go big, to go bold, and to actually follow through on the promises you made throughout the campaign.”
“It’s not just conservatives and Republicans that like that, but what we found in Wisconsin is that Independents and yes even some discerning Democrats like it when you do the things you say you were going to do,” he continued.
These protests can wear down even the staunchest conservative. When the media covers them every day like they are mainstream events organized and attended by normal citizens (rather than paid protesters) it can be bad for morale. No one wants to think that these thugs and losers can actually impact policy, but there are enough cowardly politicians left and right who will go along with their demands to keep the peace.
Today’s Republicans must refuse to be distracted or discouraged by this small number of demonstrators. Instead, concerned conservatives must double down on their phone calls, emails and letters to their elected representatives, reminding them who voted them into office in the first place and pushing them to keep their promises.